Be Active

Stability Ball Strength Training Activities

Wall Ball Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees directly over your ankles. Place the ball between your back and the wall. Make sure that the ball is in the small of your back or a little lower. Press your back into the wall, ensuring that your posture is straight up and down. Keeping your chest up, lower yourself towards the floor, as if you were sitting in a chair. Go down as far as you can, stopping when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position, keeping your posture straight. You can add weights if desired, but focus on posture more than weights.

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Ball push-ups
Start by lying face down on the ball. Roll out on the ball so that it supports your thighs just above the knees. With your hands shoulder-width apart, lower your chest towards the ground. Keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles strong. Push back up to the starting position. If more difficulty is needed, roll the ball towards your feet so that they are the only part of your body touching the ball.

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Ball Supported Dumbbell Row
Using the ball as the support for your hand, bend at the waist so that your upper body is nearly parallel to the ground. Feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your back should be flat, abdominal muscles tight. Hold the dumbbell so that the weight is directly under your shoulder. Keeping your elbow close to your body, pull the dumbbell to your shoulder and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Return to the starting position.

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Bridge/Leg Curls
Lie on your back with the ball under your ankles. With your arms out to your sides (easier) or on your chest (harder), raise your hips off of the floor so that your shoulders are the only part of your back touching the floor. To work your hamstrings, keep your hips elevated and bend your knees so that the ball rolls toward your hips. Return to the straight leg position, then lower your hips.

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Pelvic Tilt
Sit on the ball so that your knees are over your ankles. Sit up as tall as you can, trying to touch your head to the ceiling. Think about how this posture feels. This is the position your back should be in during any exercise. Now round your back out and slouch. Next, arch your back. Move between arching and rounding your back to start working on the core muscles.

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Rollout
Place your knees on a secure, padded, non-skid surface. Ensure your knees are over your ankles to start. With the ball directly in front of you, place your forearms so that they are resting on the ball. Most important: Keep your back straight at all times! Roll the ball forward so that your hips and knees extend. Keep your abdominal muscles tight. Under control, and without bending your back, return to the starting position.


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Abdominal Crunch
This is where the ball really shines. By using the ball for your abdominal workout, you will use more muscle in a greater range of motion, equaling better results. Start by sitting on the ball, then rolling down the ball so that your lower back and hips are on the ball. Your knees should be directly over your ankles. Grasp your ears (not your neck!) or cross your arms over your chest. Curl your shoulders up towards your hips. This is not a full sit-up. Go up as far as you can without shifting your pelvis. Return, under control, to the starting position. Your shoulders will be a little below your hips. Be careful no to bounce!

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Jackknife
This is an advanced move. Start with your hands on the floor and the ball under your legs at about your knees. The wider your legs are on the ball, the easier this is. Keeping your neck in line with your spine, tighten your abdominals and lift your hips into the air. You can also bring your knees to your chest for a little more work.

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Marching
Sit on the ball, find your center of balance. Keep one foot on the ground while lifting the other knee as high as you can without losing your posture and balance. This may not be very far. Alternate legs.

Circles
Work on your balance by sitting on the ball and drawing circles with your hips. The ball will roll in a circle around your body. Keep your posture tall.

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